Promises and Secrets

Promises and Secrets Promises and Secrets

A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.


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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The Christian world is fast losing the only thing that is keeping the rest of the world in check - a conscience.



This is not a reference to sentience, consciousness, or the ability to be cognizant and think, but points more to the ability to have an awareness of the right thing to do and follow it. The place where this is the most obvious is in today's "churches". When I say "churches", I mean the body of people who attend the different buildings every Sunday and claim to worship God and His Son.

What are we talking about here? Well, most people think of a church as a place where you can find genuine believers and followers of God. We think of them as having a knowledge of the will of God and a strong will to follow whatever He says to do and not do what He says not to do. We expect that this knowledge prompts them to do what He describes as the right thing to do. This prompting is what we think of as a "conscience".

Unlike what most people think, a conscience is not automatically something that tells us what is the right or wrong thing to do. A conscience develops inside each of us as we live our lives, and informs us about what we have learned about right and wrong. Exactly what we learn and where that learning originates is what forms our conscience. If that learning is not in line with what the Bible teaches, then our conscience will not automatically teach us to be in line with God's will.

Definition time

Just to make sure we are all thinking along the same lines, let's see how the Google dictionary defines "conscience":

con-science
(kan(t)shens)

noun
noun: conscience; plural noun: consciences

an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior.
    "he had a guilty conscience about his desires"

Similar:
sense of right and wrong
sense of right
moral sense
still small voice
inner voice
voice within
morals
standards
values
principles
ethics
creed
beliefs
compunction
scruples
qualms

Phrases
in conscience
     by any reasonable standard; by all that is fair. "they have in conscience done all they could"
on one's conscience
    weighing heavily and guiltily on one's mind. "an act of providence had prevented him from having a death on his conscience"

Origin
    Middle English (also in the sense 'inner thoughts or knowledge'): via Old French from Latin conscientia, from conscient- 'being privy to', from the verb conscire, from con- 'with' + scire 'know'.

conscience is sometimes confused with conscious

You get the idea. This page opened with a brash statement about the church losing a conscience and refers to it as the only thing keeping the rest of the world in check. Let me explain.

What do churches teach?

Go into any of today's churches on Sunday morning, and you will hear a sermon. A vast majority of the time, you will hear about the love of Christ, His forgiveness, the lack of need for you to do anything to attain the final goal of every Christian - entrance to eternal life in Heaven with the Father and the Son. In fact, you are often told that once you accept Christ, there is actually nothing you can do to lose that very goal. Now, some of this is true, but a significant portion of it is not only false, but is causing an easing of our consciences to the point where they no longer prompt us to stay in the will of God. Worse, people are often encouraged to go outside the will of God. That will cause you to lose your salvation.

What are we really learning?

Besides the sermon message, or even including the sermon message, what are we learning in church? First - be there every Sunday, Rain or shine. Biblical? Nope. But, for someone who is raised that way or a regular attender, if they miss Sunday church, they feel the twinge of a guilty conscience. Now, there is no command in the Bible, or even suggestion that we should go to church every Sunday - or any Sunday. So, where does the conscience get this idea?

The traditions of others

Tradition. Your mind has been trained by centuries of anti-Semitic church history to think that going to church on Sunday is the right thing to do, but the Bible says no such thing. So, where did it come from? Have you ever had someone sit you down and show you where the Bible says, "Go to church every Sunday?" I guarantee that no one has done that, because there is no such statement or implication in the Bible text. Someone would have to have a special bible with the special new book of 2 Opinions 1:1
1Thou shalt go to church on the morning of the first day of the week, and forget thou not to bring with thee thy wallet full of cash.

, making sure that everyone knows about the New Testament "Green" Deal designed to save the pastor - er, save the world.

Your consicence likely tells you to disobey God

So, if someone comes along and says that you should keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy, which is in the Bible in the real book of Genesis and many others including the New Testament, would you do it? You will likely not only have no compunction to do so, you will actually rebel against the idea because it violates your tradition. Note that this suggestion to keep the Sabbath is not violating what the Bible says, just your tradition and your conscience. So you see, your consicence does not tell you what is right and wrong, but it reminds you of what your mind has been taught that it is "supposed to do".

As a real-world example of this very thing, a pastor of the church my wife was once attending came to my home and we discussed this subject for five hours one day. Now, five hours on any subject will tend to cover a lot of bases, so you can imagine that we got into some pretty specific topics. One of them was the possibility of the loss of salvation for any true Christian. He is certain that it is not possible to lose it if you were a real Christian, while I am certain that you can. (What about 2 Peter 2:20
20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

?) He is certain that no laws or rules apply to Gentile Christians, while I am certain that all except those that pertain to sacrifices for sin still apply to Gentile Christians. (What about Romans 3:31
31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

?)

You can see that there is a large gulf between us, and his view is typical of the viewpoints of the modern churches. At this point, on the surface it appears to be only a matter of our individual opinions. The real difference is that I can point to Bible text to support my position with clear words, and the pastor can only tell me that the texts I use do not mean what they say, but then has to explain that they really mean something that supports him.

How does this affect us?

Now, back to conscience, the topic of this article. According to the definition above, conscience is "an inner feeling or voice acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior". This simple definition brings out one very important point - to be in line with the will of God, there must be a starting place for the determination of "rightness or wrongness". Not only that, but this starting place must be a visible standard with a common foundation.

You know, things like the fact that murder cannot be right for one person and wrong for another, idolatry is wrong for everyone - not just pagans, direct disobedience to God's will is wrong for everyone - not just all other denominations except ours. Determination of rightness or wrongness of an action cannot be flexible for each individual or denomination. Otherwise, there are no longer standards, just opinions. Tying this thought to the five-hour discussion above, what can we conclude?

"You cannot lose your salvation..."

If you cannot lose your salvation through your actions, then direct disobedience of God's commands will have no affect or your future. No really, is this a true statement or not? You must have a position on this issue. Your conscience uses this decision to prompt you about your actions. Not speaking your position aloud doesn't help you, because God knows your heart. Do you feel that once you are saved, you are in? (Hint: 2 Peter 2:20
20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

)

"The law does not apply to Gentiles..."

In the same way, does a Christian have to obey God's laws? It is really the same question as was posed above. Can you disobey God's law with no consequences? Again, you must have a position on this question. Either yes or no. If you say "Sometimes...", then list those times when it is OK to obey and when it is not. We know that we do not have to sacrifice animals for our sins because Christ did that "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10
10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

), but what about any of the other laws? Do you feel that Paul's statement that "we have been made holy" means that we can now disobey God, or worse, that God no longer cares if we obey?

What your stand means

Is your stand based on that of your church denomination, or based on the actual words of the Bible? No, not what your pastor says the words mean, but what they actually say. Now, if you take the common church stand that you cannot lose your salvation and that the law does not apply to Gentiles, what is it that now guides your conscience? Certainly not the Bible. Remember that definition - "an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior"? That little voice comes from what your mind learns about what is right and wrong - from whatever source gets the most of your attention. If "you can do no wrong" and "there are no rules" floats around in your mind, what do you think is guiding your conscience?

Subtle persuasion

Where did you get your ideas of right and wrong? Do you check what you have been taught against the Bible? If you have no standard by which to be guided other than your pastor's sermons, and he says that disobedience toward God will not affect your salvation, shouldn't you make sure that he is not leading you astray as to "rightness" or "wrongness"? He may not be doing it knowingly, but according to the antinomial stand (against any law) of most church denominations today, these sermons are almost always inclusive of a teaching, originally proposed by the anti-Semitic early church fathers, that goes against the Bible teachings. It only takes one or two incorrect thoughts mixed in with the "well-meaning" thoughts to persuade a conscience (remember the garden of Eden
3Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1)

).

The pastors are teaching their own "consciences", so why are they all teaching something different?

By Biblical standards, most - yes most - of those sermons are somewhere advising you incorrectly to go against the rules and will of God. The pastors may mean well, but the general teachings are that there are no rules that we have to obey because they won't do us any good anyway. They forget that not obeying the rules has an effect on our salvation. Just because we can't earn our salvation does not mean we can't throw it away (2 Peter 2:20
20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

). God set those rules up, not to ruin all your fun, but to keep you in His will. Tossing them aside shows a very arrogant disregard for God's advice.

Summary

This kind of thinking is what this site is all about. We are not here pontificating what is right and what is wrong, the Bible does that. We are pointing out where today's churches teach compromise with the world and goes directly against the word of God. When the churches compromise to the point where they look just like the rest of the world, who is left to keep the world honest? That compromise can be seen in the blending of paganism and Christianity and God said to never do that. Don't think so? Check out some of our pages under "Christianity" (in the menu above) called Christless Christianity or Pagan Christianity.

Otherwise, just turn your head and walk away, leaving the compromising churches to teach the searing of our consciences into silence. Let us know if you disagree and we will let others know what you think.











Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at glenjjr@gmail.com and give us your view.

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This site is based on the plea of David, the author of Psalm 12.


Psalm 12 (NIV)


1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.

2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue -

4 those who say,
"By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us - who is lord over us?"

5 "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise," says the Lord.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."

6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,

8 who freely strut about;
when what is vile is honored by the human race.


A submission from a reader:


 What Got in the Way

    I didn't want the what I found
    Nor did I even care.
    I didn't seek to understand
    The what I saw in there.

    No matter what it can't be true
    I know 'cause I can see
    Just what I want, and what I don't
    And what is wrong with me.

    What absolutes are promised.
    That's not how I depict it.
    And what my what is wanting,
    would make it all conflicted.

    So even though the what is there
    I'd just assume it's not,
    'cause if it was of consequence
    I'd have to ask - then what?


-Steven Glen of Caleb and Company




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